Taubman faculty Thun and Velikov's North House places fourth in 2009 Solar Decathlon

Associate professor Thun and assistant professor Velikov served as faculty leads and professional advisors in the interdisciplinary, inter-institutional effort to deliver a technologically advanced, energy efficient housing model that responds to the demands of northern climates. “Team North” was based in Ontario and completed as a collaboration between the University of Waterloo, Ryerson University and Simon Fraser University; Thun and Velikov served as faculty members previously at Waterloo before joining University of Michigan. Velikov and Thun are continuing their design research to develop mass-customized solar prefabricated houses for northern climates at Taubman College.

North House scored well in the ten categories used to rank competing prototypes. Notably, it was awarded third place in net metering, because the amount of energy produced by the house exceeded the amount of energy it needed. Following North House’s debut in the Washington, D.C. competition, it has been invited by the City of Vancouver to participate in a sustainable urban design installation series associated with the 2010 Winter Olympics. Velikov and Thun will present their research in net-energy producing residential buildings to the Fourth Annual Energy Forum in Bressone, Italy, in December 2009. They are pursuing discussions with Japanese industry leaders in the field of mass-customized solar housing within the Great Lakes Megaregion. Last June, Thun and Velikov’s firm RTVR won the Canadian Professional Prix de Rome to study sustainable housing for a northern climate.

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